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Blockbuster to shutter up to 960 stores


Dallas Blockbuster is planning to close as many as 960 stores by the end of next year to cut costs and keep its lenders happy, according to the Associated Press.

The store closures, disclosed in a regulatory filing Tuesday, would shrink the chain by more than 20%.

Blockbuster expects to close between 810 and 960 of its U.S. stores through 2010, up from the 380 to 425 stores that normally would be closed due to attrition.

If Blockbuster hits the high end of the new target for store closures, it will represent 22% of its 4,356 U.S. stores, according to AP.

The company has closed 276 stores so far this year, seeking to eliminate costs in the recessionary climate.

Blockbuster reported a net loss of $39.7 million in the second quarter, not as deep as in the year-ago period. It also reported an 17.8% drop in domestic same-store sales and a 14.7% drop in worldwide same-store sales.

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